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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 19: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat exchanges words with Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

There’s a common saying around TD Garden – don’t poke the bear. It usually applies to hockey, but the Celtics, and particularly Grant Williams, would have been wise to remember it on Friday night.

Through the first 42 minutes of the game, the Celtics managed to keep the Jimmy Butler – who was the main reason the Heat won Game 1 and has been on a tear this playoffs – relatively in check. To that point, Butler had 15 points on 7-of-17 shooting, and was a minus-2 for the game. At that point, the Celtics led 96-87.

That’s when the Celtics poked the bear that is ‘Playoff Jimmy.’

  • With 6:22 to go, Butler hit a turnaround over Williams, drawing a foul. Williams, who was having a strong game up to that point in his first action of the series, proceeded to get right in Butler’s face.

    If Butler is known for one thing, it’s his intensity. He stood toe-to-toe with Williams, until Derrick White separated the two. Both Butler and Williams were given matching technicals.

  • The dust-up was enough to get Butler into the zone. From that point on, he shot 5-of-8, scoring 12 points in six and a half minutes. That keyed a 22-9 Heat run that closed out what ended up being a 111-105 game.

    Through two games in this series, Butler is averaging 31 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field (he was 12-of-25 in both games). If the Celtics are going to dig themselves out of this 0-2 hole, one of the first things they need to do is figure out a way to lessen Butler’s impact – especially late in games.

    Keep scrolling for more highlights of Jimmy Butler…

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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